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Arial-broadcast application of diphacinone bait for rodent control in Hawai`i: efficacy and non-target species risk assessment

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Title: Arial-broadcast application of diphacinone bait for rodent control in Hawai`i: efficacy and non-target species risk assessment
Authors: Spurr, Eric B.
Foote, David
Lindsey, Gerald D.
Perry, Charlotte F.
Keywords: invasive species control
rat behavior
Issue Date: Nov 2015
Series/Report no.: TR-HCSU;071
Abstract: Introduced rats (Rattus rattus, R. exulans, and R. norvegicus) have been implicated in the decline or extinction of numerous species of plants and animals in Hawai‘i. This study investigated the efficacy of aerial-broadcast application of Ramik® Green baits containing 50 ppm (0.005%) diphacinone in reducing rat and mouse populations and the risk to non-target species. The study was undertaken in paired 45.56-ha treatment and non-treatment plots in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. All 21 radio-collared rats in the treatment plot died within nine days of bait application, whereas none of the 18 radio-collared rats in the non-treatment plot died. There was a 99% drop in both the rat capture rate and percentage of non-toxic census bait blocks gnawed by rats in the treatment plot relative to the non-treatment plot three weeks after bait application. The only rat captured in the treatment plot three weeks after bait application was not ear-tagged (i.e., it was not a recapture), whereas 44% of the 52 rats captured in the non-treatment plot were ear-tagged. Most of the bait had disappeared from the forest floor within about one month of application. No birds likely to have eaten bait were found dead, although residues of diphacinone were found in the livers of three species of introduced seed-eating/omnivorous birds captured alive after bait application. No predatory birds were found dead one month or three months after bait application. The remains of a Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius) were found six months after bait application, but it was not possible to determine the cause of death. This study demonstrated the efficacy of aerially broadcast diphacinone bait for control of rats and mice in Hawaiian montane forests, and was part of the dataset submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the national registration of a diphacinone bait for the control of rat populations in conservation areas.
Pages/Duration: 28
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10790/2650
Appears in Collections:Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit (HCSU)



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